The Take That singer was awarded with the honour by The Queen following his Diamond Jubilee involvement earlier this year.
However, Cowell is said to reacted negatively to Barlow's award as he is concerned that the may be attempting to rival his music empire, according to the latest chapter of Tom Bower's biography Sweet Revenge.
Bower wrote: "The announcement that Barlow would receive an OBE for arranging the event added to his irritation. 'He chased that madly to get three initials after his name'.
"The ambitions of Barlow, he believed, were comical. Ever since Barlow had clawed his way back after a disastrous attempt to become a solo star, Cowell was niggled by his conviction that Barlow was bidding to establish a rival entertainment empire and, like Paul McCartney, secure a knighthood.
"He enjoyed snubbing the man who foolishly asserted that he was the top judge, not Louis Walsh, by texting his criticism about Barlow to others."
The new chapter of Bower's book - titled 'Self-Doubt' - was added to the paperback edition of the original book, and follows Cowell's attempts to improve the ratings of The X Factor USA.
A spokesperson for Cowell told The Mirror: "This biography is unauthorised."
Bower's new chapter also claimed that Cowell wanted Dannii Minogue to return to The X Factor.